….MISSING A STEP IN THEIR ECONOMIC ANALYSIS
I have been anxiously anticipating the end of a 10 day waiting period for receipt of my documents requested under the California Public Record Act.
On January 30, 2012, Wildomar City Clerk Debbie Lee provided a response to my request for documents in accordance with her duties and obligations as the custodian of records for the City of Wildomar.
The focus of my document request related to the decision-making process which culminated in a December 08, 2010 unanimous vote by the Wildomar City Council (newly-elected Benoit and Walker never even asked a single question before they voted) to join the Joint Powers Agency (“JPA”) of the Animal Friends of the Valley (“AFV”).
In my opinion, and as an elemental part my original concept of “Re-Thinking Wildomar,” the decision to join the AFV/JPA is having a detrimental impact on the City of Wildomar budget, and was based on inadequate financial information.
Once I have “made my case” for my readers, using the numbers taken from public documents, we can then fairly reach reasonable conclusions and allocate culpability.
Submitted for your comparative analysis, are the following numbers to consider:
1) $354,300, the current budget allocation (2011-12) for animal control services provided by AFV/JPA. (On a per capita basis, that’s double what most cities pay for animal control services).
2) $ 82,250, the estimated amount of revenue generated by license fees and citations “given away,” without ample justification, to AFV by the City Council.
3) $436,550, the total annual economic cost to Wildomar for animal control services by contracting with AFV and joining the JPA.
On July 22, 2009, according to documents just received, Interim City Manager John Danielson made a presentation to the City Council, comparing animal control costs to be provided by AFV with the cost of animal control services to be provided by Riverside County.
At that time, AFV proposed providing Field Services for “1 officer, 5 hours/day, 5 days per week, including Animal Sheltering, while retaining all city licensing and citation revenues.” The proposal is in the amount of $90,000 per year, but that was before their costly construction project began.
Riverside County Department of Animal Services proposed providing Field services for “1 officer, 8 hours/day, 5 days per week, including Animal Sheltering services,” in the amount of $317,695 per year.
At that time, as of July 2009, it was a “no-brainer,” and the City Council made the proper decision to contract with AFV.
However, subsequent to July 2009, AFV completed their $12 million Mammalian Taj Mahal and all of the economic dynamics changed dramatically for AFV.
Nonetheless, when the vote to join the JPA came before the newly-constituted City Council on December 08, 2010, City Staff apparently failed to reconsider those changes and presented only one option for animal control services, unilaterally favoring the AFV/JPA, based upon “deal points” negotiated by City Manager Frank Oviedo, in the company of then-Mayor Bridgette Moore.
And now for the missing calculations:
1) $ 76,361, for “adjusted” Field Services, based on 1300 hours per year versus 2080 hours per year. (A 32.5% difference in the number of hours proposed).
2) $195,515, for Animal Sheltering services at San Jacinto Shelter, as of July 2009.
3) $271,876, total of 1) and 2).
4)<$ 82,250>, reduced/offset by the income for City Licensing and citation revenues, if properly retained by the city.
5) $189,626, the net annual cost for animal control services if the City entered an agreement with the Riverside County Department of Animal Services.
Apparently, after making the initial decision to contract with AFV for animal control services, the AFV/JPA began their political seduction of the City of Wildomar ( dare I suggest the political influence of the Chamber of Commerce?), and no one on City Staff considered taking another look at the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, in order to secure an up-to-date proposal for a “side-by-side” comparison with the cost of joining with the AFV/JPA, before making their staff recommendation to the City Council.
Different descriptive context, however.
Let’s do the final math now, as follows:
1) $436,550, the total current annual cost for animal control services, including the ceding of “all City licensing and citation revenues” to AFV.
2) $189,626, the total net cost for animal control services, achieved by utilizing the Riverside County Department of Animal Services, while retaining license and citation revenues.
3) $246,924, the annual cost difference between the two services.
That’s another quarter million dollars out of Wildomar’s budget, per year.
This information should truly annoy the hard-working volunteers that are taking care of Marna O’Brien Park.
Here’s my point.
In response to my request for all documents “pertaining to any correspondence between the City of Wildomar and the Riverside County Department of Animal Services up to December 31, 2010,” the City Clerk stated the following: “Staff has done a search for the records you have requested and found no records that match your request.”
Because those documents don’t exist! It is obvious the no one on City Staff even bothered to recontact Riverside County for an up-dated, alternative proposal to compare with the AFV/JPA proposal.
The above statement justifies my well-reasoned opinion that City Staff has failed to exercise due diligence on behalf of the citizens of Wildomar by not exploring a reasonable alternative to the excessively costly agreement with AFV/JPA.
Wildomar deserves, and should demand, better from it’s elected officials and professional staff.
Comments can be made to firstname.lastname@example.org.
On September 08, 2010, I made a presentation to the City Council by using three minutes of Public Comment to provide a thumbnail sketch of the cost of the city of Wildomar having their own animal control services. However, rather than considering my suggestion, it was “blown off” by City Staff, with the dismissive response that the Ramona shelter was all of 33 miles distance from Wildomar, as if that mattered.
Please click on the following link, and scroll down to page 5 to confirm: